Thursday, July 03, 2014

"Just Gotta Be Me..."

The people who spy on the NSA have set heads twirling this July 4th with the news that the NSA is now "'targeting" anyone who is interested in maintaining their privacy.

Revealed: 'Collect It All' NSA Targets Those Seeking Web Privacy
"Merely visiting privacy-related websites is enough for a user's IP address to be logged into an NSA database,' says new report."
The counter-spies decoded the NSA's 'filter' apps that lets them identify people to be targeted, and they found that the rules are pretty general.

NSA targets the privacy-conscious
"The NSA tracks all connections to a server that hosts part of an anonymous email service at the MIT Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory (CSAIL) in Cambridge, Massachusetts. It also records details about visits to a popular internet journal for Linux operating system users called "the Linux Journal - the Original Magazine of the Linux Community", and calls it an "extremist forum".
NSA even targets those too poor for computers. In some impoverished places, old desktops are stripped of their hard drives and set up for visitors to boot using a USB flash drive. For $5, this gives a person his own computer. 

"Another tool specifically named in the NSA’s code is Tails, a Linux-based operating system specially designed for privacy and security which filters all of its Internet traffic through Tor and can be run from a CD-ROM or USB stick."
Is the NSA going to track every privacy-loving poor person on the earth? If your government is less than democratic, would you not use Tails?

The findings also contradict NSA longstanding claims that its surveillance targets only those suspected of engaging in activity that threatens national security.

“They say ‘We’re not doing indiscriminate searches,’ but this is indiscriminate,” Opsahl notes. “It’s saying that anyone who is looking for those various [services] are suspicious persons.”
While the NSA states that they do not target U.S. citizens in the USA,
"In this example, under the NSA’s procedures, a U.S. citizen sending an email about Putin’s frequent, shirtless poses to another U.S. citizen could have their communications intercepted and analyzed by NSA under a variety of conditions:"
... which include the condition that when the NSA can't tell whether you are connecting to the internet from inside the US or not because your privacy program won't let them, then you are targetable.

 Cover your gonads, and the NSA will think that you're hiding something. Your very wish for privacy justifies their interest.

You don't even have to be actually interested in retaining your privacy. Just in the idea of retaining it - that's enough to make you a potential terrorist, in the NSA's view.

Boing-boing has a very good article about it, titled

   "If you read Boing Boing, the NSA considers you a target for deep surveillance"

How can a person avoid being targeted? To avoid being targeted you need to never visit a long list of sites. The NSA has the list. You don't. The list is always changing.

If you want to find out about not being targeted, you will need to visit sites that describe being targeted. Doing this will cause the NSA to target you. So to avoid being targeted, you need to be sure never to visit any of the sites that they won't tell you about and that you dare not try to find out about.

Good luck.

Eventually, anyone intelligent will be on their target list. Early arrivals get extra points.

So what does being targeted mean?

"Targeting" means that they think you are a potential terrorist. They will retain your records permanently.

Of course, the NSA is getting leakier and leakier. It doesn't take any special program to learn about the holes in their cheese:
"I do not believe that this came from the Snowden documents. I also don't believe the TAO catalog came from the Snowden documents. I think there's a second leaker out there."


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